Book offers new picture of Kennedy

Perched just a stone’s throw from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, The Boston Globe has always had a particularly close relationship with the Kennedy family.

That means perhaps only the Globe could produce yet another photo book on a Kennedy that doesn’t unnecessarily crowd the bookshelves. And that’s where Ted Kennedy: Scenes From An Epic Life comes in.

The paper scoured its written and photographic archives to produce two books: A biography, The Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy was published by Simon and Schuster in February, with the photo book following in March.

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Janice Page, the book’s co-editor and the Globe’s book development editor, says perhaps only the Globe is capable of such a project.

“The Kennedys over the years asked the Globe for photography, because we were the ones taking the photos,” Page said. “And our photographers know him so well. ”

Page spoke to The Hill about the book and its intent.

Q:Why another photo book on the Kennedys? What makes this one different?

The simple answer is that while there are many books on the Kennedys, photo and otherwise, there’s not been more than a handful — and no photo book that I’m aware of — with Ted Kennedy at the center. He really emerged as a subject, to be honest, with the [brain cancer] diagnosis, because the arc of his life was something that made us really think.

Q : Even Kennedy critics often agree this is a photogenic family. Was that a factor?

The Kennedys were always very good at making sure they were the subject of a lot of things. They kept everything they wrote to each other, and they got themselves in front of cameras a lot. And because they’ve been in public life so long and have kept so much, our archive on them is so big. What has been published in our paper is just a fraction. The most enormous task was not deciding to do a book, it was wading through and deciding what to include.

Q: Do you have any particularly memorable photographs?

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There’s a photo of Ted taking his mother for a walk that’s obviously a candid shot, and there’s one with Ted Jr. and his baby that shows the three generations on the porch. There are also two other photos that are amazing. One is shortly after Chappaquiddick, where Joan and Ted are walking apart and it kind of sums up where their marriage was at and where things were. And there’s a photo of the senator campaigning and reaching out to a group of elderly ladies that’s just terrific.

Q: How much help did the family provide? Were they involved in selection?

The family didn’t help one on one, because Ted is doing his own book. … They knew of it and with both books they were kind enough to be cooperative, but they had nothing to do with the selection of photographs.

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